Apollo's Raven (Curse of Clansmen and Kings) (Volume 1) - Book Review

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Book Review of :  Apollo's Raven (Curse of Clansmen and Kings) (Volume 1)


An Engaging historical fantasy, Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner is a captivating tale of triangles; love, lust and espionage, friend, foe, and spies., barbarians, civilized Rome and spiritual-supernatural beings. The author’s knowledge of the mythology and the history of 43 AD Celtic tribes is astounding as she weaves a tapestry of intrigue, a Gordian knot of rivalry and a love story.

            With unusual characters and a compelling, innovative plot, the tale, told through multiple points of view, is primarily about a young Princess Catrin’s conundrum when faced with love or lust at first sight of an enemy, Marcellus.  The rivalry between tribal kings is being exploited by Rome which has sent an envoy to Britianna to encourage warfare and to ally the surviving tribe. Marcellus, son of the Roman envoy’s leader, turns “his sound reasoning into unadulterated desire for the exotic princess.”  Their fatal attraction is encouraged as Catrin’s father, the king, and Marcellus’s father try to manipulate and set them up as spies.

            Catrin has been trained as a warrior to defend her family and tribe. She discovers that she’s also a spirit warrior who learns to travel to other worlds through her spirit guide, the raven.  Can the tangible realm of mankind co-exist with the otherworld gods and the dead? Is all magic a delusion? Catrin desperately tries to figure out where she belongs.

            The plot is complicated as Marcellus is retained as a hostage in Catrin’s village while the King travels to negotiate with his rival and banished son, Red Wolf. Cultures clash as Catrin, “a woman who can own property and be a ruler, a warrior, a Druid and a mother” learns that “a Roman father has complete control over his family-wife, children, and slaves. If they disobey him, he holds the power of life and death over them”. Immersed in political intrigue and dangerous adventure, the plot thickens as their love is tested.

            The author indulges the senses with scenes of Early Medieval life with violence and bloodshed, gorging feasts and ritual battles, ceremonies and drunkenness, and spiritual-supernatural conflicts.  The reader can visualize “A dirt-smeared stableman in torn trousers who greeted them with a broad grin that displayed rotten teeth”. Another example of her writing style is a scene “when blood-red clouds began forming fangs in the molten sunset”.

            This epic Celtic tale of magic and a curse, political warring factions and adventure is an example of the symbolism of the triskele or triple spiral used in insular (Early Medieval) art. Entertaining and informative, Apollo’s Raven is the first in a series Curse of Clansmen and Kings. Will Julius Cesar’s tactic of divide and conquer,  enable Rome to dominate Britianna?  Will Catrin be further torn between loyalty to her father the king and her forbidden love of Marcellus? Will she be able to control her mystical powers for good?

Reviewed by: Carole W.

About Linnea Tanner


Linnea Tanner weaves Celtic tales of love, magic, adventure, betrayal and intrigue into historical fiction set in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology which held women in higher esteem. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids. Depending on the time of day and season of the year, you will find her exploring and researching ancient and medieval history, mythology and archaeology to support her writing. As the author of the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series, she has extensively researched and traveled to sites described within each book. A native of Colorado, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry. She lives in Windsor with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

Visit https://www.linneatanner.com/ for more information on Linnea Tanner

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By: Linda Jessen-HowardDate: 11/14/2019 22:16:33
Great choice for this award! The book is well-researched, features a strong female lead, and is extremely engaging. I couldn't put it down. Well written!

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